“Everybody is sick,” ICU nurse Stefanie Davis told local outlet CBS 12. “We don’t have enough people to take care of the patients and we’re concerned about patient safety. And yet when we voiced those concerns, it’s like nothing … like you’re silenced.”
Davis, who left her job at Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg, Florida, told the outlet that many fellow nurses are out sick with the virus. She claims there are more than 14 ICU nurses out sick alone, while CBS says that, according to an internal memo, there are actually 21 staff members who have tested positive for the virus since the middle of May.
Davis reportedly sent a letter to the hospital asking for additional personal protective equipment (PPE), claiming that nurses use N-95 masks until they’re “soiled,” broken, or five shifts are up. She tells the outlet that nurses are also taking on three patients unlike the usual two, and that, “It makes you feel like a nonperson like disposable, just like the mask.”
Davis is far from alone in her concerns about health care workers not getting adequate PPE while facing COVID-19. In fact, she isn’t even the only person to quit her job over it. For example, Kelly Stanton, a nurse in the Washington, D.C., area, told NBC News that she ended up quitting after 28 years as a nurse. Why? “In the end,” she told the news outlet. “I could not accept that I could be responsible for causing one of my family members to become severely ill or possibly die.” She added to the outlet that nurses were being asked to reuse masks. By late March, the changes in safety regulations were too much to bear, and she resigned.
One Missouri nurse resigned after reportedly being told she couldn’t use an N-95 mask she purchased herself while working with patients. The nurse, who asked to remain anonymous, told local outlet KMOV 4: “I walked into work with my mask on and my boss said I had to take it off. I told her I would not take it off or I would quit.”
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